Ah, winter. While I have not been appointed by everyone else (or anyone else, for that matter) to deliver you this message, I believe I confidently speak for most of the human beings I'm moderately acquainted with and even many I've never met before when I say, "PLEASE, GO AWAY!"
I can't remember anywhere in the recesses of my memory where I've been more ready for spring. And I can't really tell you whether I'm actually more ready for spring or just plain flat sick of winter. I hear people griping and complaining - tweeting and posting - all the time about the weather. I read about one guy threatening to drive all the way to Punxsutawney to drag the groundhog out of his hole and beat him senseless. (When people are driven to raging violence against woodland animals, you know it's getting bad.) I guess we all have limits.
If you look at this winter on paper, it's not like it's that much different than others. I don't think we broke any records. We definitely didn't have record snowfall - at least not where I live. So what's the rub? Why is everyone so fed up with winter? Again, I don't speak for everyone else (or anyone else, for that matter), but I have a theory. Here it is:
The reason why everyone seems to be so sick of winter and so ready for spring is because winter just cant seem to make up its mind.
10 days ago - 2 Saturdays back - I got sunburned. A SUNBURN in February!
4 days later, I was getting my long underwear back out.
2 days ago it was 70 degrees. 1 day ago it was 30 degrees. Today it's 45 degrees.
My sinuses are freaking out and my shoulder is squeaking like the Tin Man!
I promise you that spring has sprung and died again at least 7 times.
I really wish winter would just make up its mind!
While we obviously have no control over the weather or the winter, we can certainly learn from it. There are many times in life when we simply need to make up our mind. This is especially true for those of us who are leaders. When others are waiting on our direction, we have to remember that they're doing exactly that: waiting. This doesn't mean we should be reckless, careless, thoughtless, or (especially) prayerless. That said, for many of us, we are much more inclined to be overcautious, apprehensive, overspiritualizing perfectionists. We wait on an epiphany or a "sign from above". But most of the time, if we are daily, consistently, constantly seeking and walking with the Lord, He gives us this thing called discernment. And when it's married to another gift of God called wisdom, we are more often than not going to already know WHAT it is the Lord desires, WHERE He's directing, and WHY He's leading us that way.
Last week at Catalyst One Day, Craig Groeschel made this statement:
90% of the time, the decision we would make in 20 seconds is the same one we would make in 20 days.
The world calls this instinct, intuition, or a "gut feeling". All those may apply and be appropriate. But if you're a Christian, all of those things are guided and driven by the Holy Spirit. And again, what the world may call intuition, King Solomon (see Proverbs) calls wisdom and discernment. And the more I walk with the Lord - the more I grow in spiritual maturity - the more wisdom and discernment grow. Many of you have known this for years. Some of you are just beginning to discover it. The question is, why am I blogging about it? Weren't we just talking about the weather? Yes. But just like winter needs to make up its mind, many of us may be guilty of the same.
Are there going to be some decisions and directions that take time to discern? YES.
Are some decisions more important than others? OF COURSE.
Won't some decisions have much greater consequences and impact than others? ABSOLUTELY!
By all means, we should embrace the gifts of seeking the guidance of the Word of God, seeking out "wise counsel" from the godly, and praying for discernment from the Spirit of God.
But aren't there going to be decisions - many, many, many decisions - that I KNOW the answer to, but I postpone, put off, or just avoid because I'm simply not willing to move forward, take a risk, or worse yet, lead the way?
If you are a LEADER, there are going to be some people who determine that you are simply NOT the leader they wan't to follow.
If you are an INDECISIVE LEADER - a wishy-washy, second-guessing, can't seem to ever make up your mind leader - then even those who want and choose to follow you will eventually go crazy and walk away.
Seek the Lord. Trust the Holy Spirit. Lead the way.
Proverbs 9:10, 19:20
James 1:5-8, 3:13-4:10